A former hedge-fund manager, Caryn Seidman Becker bought the airport-focused biometric-identity company Clear out of bankruptcy in 2010 with a plan to turn it around. At the time Clear’s focus on speeding travelers through security lines had become increasingly niche, especially given the rollout of the TSA’s PreCheck program, but Seidman Becker had a bigger vision for the technology, which uses iris and face scans along with fingerprints to verify identities of its vetted, $179-a-year members. Not only has she reestablished Clear as a leader in airport security, with dedicated lanes at 25 hubs across the country, but through a new partnership with Delta Air Lines, Clear is using biometric verification to automate everything from baggage check to the boarding process, part of her plan to offer totally frictionless “curb-to-gate” experiences for travelers.
Seidman Becker is also taking Clear into sports arenas: Ten venues, including New York’s Yankee Stadium and Citi Field, Coors Field in Denver, and San Francisco’s AT&T Park, offer expedited entry to Clear members, a population that grew 130% last year to nearly 2 million people. Clear is even testing fast beer lanes at concession stands, which would leverage biometrics to quickly confirm fans’ ages.
For Seidman Becker, these kinds of conveniences are just the beginning: “Every vertical—hospitals, real estate, office buildings, universities—is thinking about this: How can we ensure security and still have open environments?”